Monday, June 28, 2010

880 South: Oakland, Holy Land Restaurant

Holy Land Restaurant  677 Rand St./Lakeshore Ave., (510) 272-0535; http://www.holylandrestaurant.com/. L-D Sun-Thur, F to sunset; $. No reservations. Located on a quiet side street, this simple spot has a few tables inside and, in good weather, more outside on the sidewalk in front. It has been called a “holey” in the wall, and it is strictly counter service, but the fresh Middle Eastern fare is served up fast. Among the many delicious choices are matzo soup, malawach fried Yemeni flat bread, a combo plate of delicious freshly-fried falafel with hummus and Israeli salad, a combo salad plate also with hummus, and a blended fresh-mint lemonade. A portion of spicy green zhug sauce comes with most items, and sometimes a special such as spectacular fresh-corn fritters is an option. The restaurant is glatt kosher and supervised by a rabbi.

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image courtesy of venue

Saturday, June 26, 2010

San Francisco: SFMOMA

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With 160 pieces on display, "Calder to Warhol" is one of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's largest exhibitions ever.  The works from the new Fisher Collection are spread throughout its top two floors and in the rooftop sculpture garden.  You won't want to miss Andy Warhol's "Triple Elvis" or Chuck Close's close-up portraits.  The show runs through September 19.

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image courtesy of venue

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum

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The spectacular Birth of Impressionism show of masterpieces from the Musee D'Orsay continues through September 6, 2010.  You'll see 100 Impressionist paintings that are rarely seen outside of France and also have the opportunity to become "The Feifer." 


More things to do in Golden Gate Park.


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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

880 South: Oakland, Italian Colors

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http://www.italiancolorsrestaurant.com/
This restaurant is as comfortable as ever, and also as difficult as ever to find.  Be sure to secure directions in advance.  In business for 17 years, they are definitely doing something very right.  The menu continues to offer favorite house speciaties--a delicate Green Scarves lasagna made with thin layers of pasta and bechamel sauce, thin-crust pizza made with a strain of yeast maintained here since the restaurant opened, and gooey warm chocolate cake.  A recent visit allowed me to try a few new items, including a molded Dungeness crab salad with papaya and avocado and a chili-lime vinaigrette, a bowl of addictive fried olives and garlic cloves, and a fresh red abalone entree prepared with lemon-caper-butter sauce and served with lemon-ricotta ravioli.  The abalone is newsworthy because it isn't on many menus.  However the chef here has a source of fresh farmed abalone--pick up a few souvenir shells from a basket by the door as you leave.  A full bar serves up specialty cocktails, and live classical guitar music entertains on Wednesday through Saturday nights.

More things to do in Oakland.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

5 North: Mt. Shasta City, Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery & Sisson Museum

Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery 1 N. Old Stage Rd.,1/4 mi. W of I-5, (530) 926-2215; http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/MtShasta . Daily 8am-sundown. Free. Opened in 1888, this is the oldest operating fish hatchery west of the Mississippi. Narrow rectangular ponds hold rainbow and brown trout raised to stock mountain fishing streams, rivers, and lakes. After the eggs hatch in early spring, more than 3 million fry can be observed. Eagles and ospreys are sometimes spotted here trying to catch fish. Fish food dispensers are available, and a large grassy picnic area with tables provides a view of Mt. Shasta.

Located next door, the century-old Sisson Museum (1 N. Old Stage Rd., (530) 926-5508; http://mountshastasissonmuseum.org/ . 09 Apr-May daily 1-4, June-Sept daily 10-4, Oct-Dec F-Sun 1-4, closed Jan-Mar. By donation.) holds a working seismograph. Other exhibits explain the history of the town and the local Native Americans, the geology of Mt. Shasta and its glaciers, and also the history of climbing the mountain.

Friday, June 11, 2010

San Francisco: Chez Papa Bistrot--CLOSED

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"Bistrot" has officially been added to the name and a new chef--Rodolfo Castellanos Reyes--is now on board, but the atmosphere and delicious fare remain, thank goodness. I also discovered that if you can get here before 6 p.m., you might actually be able to walk in and sit down. Having a reservation is still advised. As part of San Francisco's Dine Around Town program, a special $34.95 three-course menu is available through June 15. I selected a all-vegetable cauliflower soup, the always-spectacular and tender lamb daube, and a creamy panna cotta that subbed for my choice of lavender creme brulee, which they were out of. Our knowledgable waitress selected the wine and she definitely knew her vintages. I can't wait to return to this little gem on the hill.

http://www.chezpapasf.com

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image courtesy of venue

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

San Francisco: Sunday’s a Drag brunch at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room

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updated September 16, 2015

Sunday’s a Drag brunch Far and away from the usual, this brunch features talented drag queens in colorful performances. An expansive buffet features salads, lox, egg dishes, an omelet station, a carving station, and a dessert table, plus coffee and fresh-squeezed o.j. and more. Alcohol is additional, but you wouldn’t want to miss sipping a delicious sparkling wine cocktail from a flute during the show. With all the distractions, including delicious background music that includes classic musicals as well as Tim Curry and Lou Reed, you almost don’t notice that the killer view available from this famous room is, due to light requirements of the show, covered with heavy drapes and glare-reducing shades to the point that there really is not much of a view left. Bring your camera.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 7, 2010

80 North: Berkeley, Berkeley Dining Passport

Melding a good deal with good works, the new Berkeley Dining Passport, which resembles a real passport, gets you special offers for the next year at more than 20 Berkeley restaurants. Offers range from a free dessert to a discount on the tab. The passport costs just $20, and is available at all participating restaurants; a portion of sales benefits the Berkeley Food & Housing Project. For details: http://www.berkeleydiningpassport.com/ .

More things to do in Berkeley.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

101 North: Larkspur, E&O Trading Co.--CLOSED

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More things to do in Larkspur.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wine Country: Sonoma, The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa


The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa 1325 Broadway Ave., 1 mi. S of town, (707) 935-6600; http://www.thelodgeatsonoma.com/. 182 rooms. Some gas fireplaces. Restaurant. Pool; hot tub; fitness center; health spa. Luxurious spacious grounds planted with well-tended gardens are the backdrop to spacious tri-plex cottages. Rooms feature clean-lined contemporary decor with deep soaking tubs. The spa has eucalyptus steam rooms as well as an pleasant outdoor area with natural mineral water soaking pools and open-air treatment and lounging cabanas. Complimentary shuttle service is available to the downtown plaza.

Operating in a large airy room with an open kitchen just across the entryway from the hotel lobby, the comfortable Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar ((707) 931-2042. B&D daily, L M-Sat, SunBr; $$$.) offers a menu of locally sourced contemporary cusine. Entrees include a tasty American kobe flank steak with wild mushrooms, mac and cheese made with Midnight Moon goat cheese, interesting flights of wines, and dessert trios in strawberry and lemon. All are matched with wine suggestions.

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